ATHENS – “Enough is enough.” Michele Starkey has reached the end of her patience with the Ontario government. “When I got my last hydro bill and I saw they were requesting another increase in 2014 it made me see red.”
So the Athens’ resident took to social media and launched an online petition calling for Ontario’s Auditor General to investigate the proposed increases and review Hydro management. “I want to know why they are doing this and who approved it. They’re selling off surplus hydro below cost just to get rid of it and we’re being penalized for conserving.” Starkey blames government incompetence for creating a situation where higher prices are needed to compensate for poor management of the utility. She said it’s time for people to speak out.
She said recent Recorder and Times stories raising the spectre of local industry moving to the U.S. where electricity costs are half of Ontario’s prices confirms her sense that something must be done to stop the increases. Those rate hikes, announced early this month by energy minister Bob Chiarelli, are expected to add 42 per cent to the average hydro bill in three years. Starkey said the forecast increase will drive individuals and business out of the province. “Our area and all of Ontario will be a ghost town as people leave and jobs are lost.” Starkey has contacted Hydro One and the province’s ombudsman’s office and said she is dismayed over their lack of response.
“You feel you are on your own. You have to fight these people by yourself. But you can do something with people power.” Read article